Chris and Franco

Since the new novel is circling back to the first book in the series, Painted Black, I decided it made sense to bring Chris back in the new novel in a cameo role. Chris was the street kid that Jo was trying to help in that novel. I posted an old scene from Painted Black on the Birthing blog if you’d like to find out more about him.

The Chris on the screen struck Jo as slightly uncertain, but covering it with bravado. The bitterness hadn’t yet seeped into his tone.

In Cry Baby Cry, Jo is going to have to deal with guilt about not saving Chris’s friend in time, but will also confront herself and her own shortcomings. Not everyone is going to like her as much as I do, and she needs to deal with that.

I also had Jo meet Franco last week. Franco is Lily’s gay “boyfriend” who is trying to protect her from life on the streets, but may actually be putting her in harm’s way despite himself. Like Chris, Franco has a good heart, even if he is misguided, and he has fully surrendered to a willingness to do anything he can to survive on the streets. If Jo had known him earlier, maybe she could have saved him from it, like she did Chris.

Looking nervously in her rearview window, Jo pulled over to the curb where a slim youth in low-hanging jeans and a muscle t-shirt was leaning against a light pole. As the car stopped, he loped up to them. When Avril rolled down the window, he leaned down to look into the car, saw Avril, and froze.


Not all sunsets, rainbows and unicorns

Sometimes I feel  like people don’t understand what I’m saying.  Or maybe that I’m not saying it right.  Then I find an article or hear a story about someone that hits it right on the nose.

These are the people we live aside, Durkan says. It is important they have a voice and are seen, just as the Amazon techies and well-dressed downtowners that have been getting so much press in Seattle’s boom.

“So often people walk over them,” Durkan says of people living on the streets. “It’s important to get them out in front of people, bring to light underlying issues.”

Homelessness is as diverse as this city, Durkan says. Drug addiction is not the sole impetus for every homeless person. Neither is mental illness or economic hardship, both which he plans to chronicle.

And even more important than getting the stories in front of people is this:

To “be there, in that subject’s life, for a moment.” Just a moment


As hard as it is to pin down an umbrella explanation for life on the street, Durkan says a “cure” or a “fix” for the homeless is, too, impossibly complex. It’s fallacy to pretend a new photo series will do much of anything to eliminate the hardships.
But it’s SOMETHING. A step, Durkan says. For exposing the issue, a call for help. Even if, Durkan says, no one sees his series or cares about a particular photograph, he was there, in that subject’s life for a moment.  Awareness, and all its arms, is good.

All quotes via Not all sunsets, rainbows and unicorns: Seattle photographer moves from pretty to gritty in stunning series | Q13 FOX News.

Here’s Tim’s first Street Story.  Visit the Capital Hill Seattle Blog to see his stories.